Home cleaning products may be as harmful as 20 cigarettes a day

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(KWQC) -- A study by scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway finds that regular use of cleaning sprays can have the same health impact as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

The research published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine tracked 6,235 men and women whose average age was 34.

The participants in the study used cleaning products over the course of two decades, according to Newsweek, which reports the study found women who used the cleaning products regularly had a markedly decreased lung capacity.

Researchers also found increased rates of asthma among women who used the products regularly.

The study notes it may be that women appear more affected due in part to the greater number of women involved in the study.

The scientists advise using microfiber cloths and water for cleaning rather than chemicals, while some health advocates suggest using cleaning products that are labeled "allergy friendly” and are made with fewer chemicals.

The study concludes that its findings “suggest that cleaning activities in women, whether at home or as an occupation, may constitute a risk to respiratory health, not only in terms of asthma.. but also in terms of long-term impact on lung function decline.

Our findings advocate a need for further focus on preventing harmful exposure to the airways from exposure in cleaning activities.”